Govt considering amending 100% foreign airline ownership rules, says Jayant Sinha
Aviation Minister, Jayant Sinha, speaking in the capital city on Wednesday said that the government was considering amending the ‘100% foreign airline ownership rule in India.’
He was speaking in context to Qatar Airways’ announcement in Berlin last week of starting a domestic carrier in India.
Sinha said that the government was yet to get an application from Qatar Airways for starting operations of a local carrier.
He further added that India has ‘very robust’ reforms agenda, in the matter of civil aviation.
In its announcement, Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker said that the gulf operator was aiming to develop the Indian initiative soon and that the airlines was growing at ‘double digit’ pace.
Sources from Bloomberg said that the airline would set up operations with 100 aircraft.
The airline also expressed confidence that US President Trump will not slow expansion of Gulf airlines and it said that London will be the first route for new business seats followed by Paris and New York.
Government of India in June last year liberalised the norms for 100% foreign direct investment in many sectors including civil aviation in Brownfield Airport projects in an attempt to ‘modernise’ the existing airports.
The move was also pushed for to establish a high standard and help ease the pressure on the existing airports.
The previous FDI norm permitted only 74% in Brownfield projects under automatic route and beyond 74% FDI in Brownfield project was under government route.
A report by Live Mint on March 9 said that India’s domestic aviation market reached nearly 100 million passengers in 2016 and would become the third-largest aviation market, displacing UK, by 2026.
“Yes we will have a 100% owned domestic carrier in India that will belong to both Qatar Airways and our state investment arm as India has now allowed foreign investment in domestic carriers within India. We will soon be making an application to that effect,” the report quoted Baker from his Facebook Live feed.